I’ve been doing some number crunching, courtesy of those ICV2 sales estimates. And while they are just estimates, and only include North American stores (and there hangs a tale) they do provide some consistency.
So, for the top 300 comic book sales of July (and just single comic books here, not collections), Image Comics, the third biggest publisher in the comic book direct market behind Marvel and DC Comics brought in an estimate total of 700,000 comic book sales, spread amongst 45 titles that made the Top 300.
Now, this doesn’t include twenty-odd titles outside the top 300. Or collected sales. Or digital sales. Or bookstore sales. Or convention sales. Or other available outlets.
In comparison, Star Wars, the line of comics based upon the Lucasfilm property owned by Marvel’s parent company Disney and publisher by Marvel, has been running since the beginning of the year. And their titles brought in an estimated total sale of 620,000 comics, split between Star Wars, Darth Vader, Kanan, Land, Princess Leia, and repeated printings of those titles.
However the average Image Comics sale price is $3.50. While the average Star Wars price is $4.20. Bringing in an estimates $2,450,000 for Image and $2,650,000 for Star Wars.
Now when it comes to trade collections, Image Comics dwarfs Star Wars, in that Marvel’s Star Wars line don’t have actually have any yet. And, as we say, Image Comics dominates bookstores with its collections as well. And while Image Comics has eschewed retailer exclusive variant covers, Marvel’s Star Wars has made a business model of it (one which DC’s Dark Knight is currently emulating).
But right now, under these very exacting parameters, it appears that Star Wars’ line might either be, or about to be, the third biggest publisher of single comics in the direct market. As it stands an extra issue of The Walking Dead here or there would reverse that. And Image have plenty of exciting comics to come. But Marvel has the movie…
But for those looking at Marvel dwarfing the marketshare of DC recently, if it wasn’t for Lucasfilm, they may well be closer to level pegging when it comes to superheroes.
And it’s also worth considering that, for all those sales, Star Wars comics writers Kieron Gillen and Jason Aaron should still do better, financially, from their Image Comics titles.